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Calcium Supplementation Linked to Increased Risk For Myocardial Infarction

Tuesday, August 03, 2010
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Calcium supplement linked to increased risk for myocardial infarction
If I were to ask you the name of the most popular vitamin supplement consumed worldwide, what would your guess be? CALCIUM of course! After all it’s just so simple to pop a pill a day and secure yourself from a painful disease like osteoporosis for life! The logic is that since adults need 1000 mg and older adult’s need 1200 mg per day, and normal diets do not give us that much supplements are needed to fill in the gap.

Recently, an analysis of data from 11 earlier controlled clinical studies, on calcium supplementation and correlation with heart disease was undertaken at the University of Auckland, and results were published in the British Medical Journal.

The study
1200 elderly participants were tracked for four over years. Half the number received calcium supplements, while the rest were administered a placebo.

The findings were quite shocking.

  • There was a 30% increase in the incidence of myocardial infarction, and smaller, non significant increase in risk of stroke and mortality in the group receiving calcium supplements.
  • The risk was greater amongst those who had a dietary calcium intake above the median, but, it was independent of age, sex and supplement type.



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User Comments

20 July, 2013 | vignesh | Reply

vignesh my dad s bp,diabetic patient,,he s having low serum calcium..he s taking supplement vit d3 tablets,,,it will cause any pblm,,r any chance of getting cvs diseases,,give me a suggestion,,whether he have 2 take dat supplement r not??? WITH REGARDS,

17 May, 2011 | instaflex | Reply

instaflex Nice Post ! I agree with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your next updates. I will immediately grab your rss feed to stay privy of any updates.

18 September, 2010 | Vijayalakshmi | Reply

Vijayalakshmi I am sure that having a diet rich in Calcium and potassium foods along with lowering sodium will have a very positive influence on management of BP.The problem lies in supplementation as most supplements are not natural and most often again they overdosed. SO its more of eating a diet as natural as possible.

18 September, 2010 | Sujatha | Reply

Sujatha My mother consumes one multi vitamin and mineral tablet a day, which also has calcium in it. Does this mean that she has to stop taking that supplementation? We are vegetarians, her weight is normal and she is active.

24 August, 2010 | Sudhindra | Reply

Sudhindra Hi Poonam,

My mother is a high BP patient and she takes one tab calicmax every day!! Do you still say that she is prone to some heart disease.


26 August, 2010 | Poonam | Reply

Poonam Hello Ms Sudhindra
I can understand your concern, however a lot will depend upon what your mother-in- law eats. If she is getting enough calcium through her diet, then supplementation may not be necessary. She must discuss this with her physician as well.

06 August, 2010 | Geetanjali Kelkar | Reply

Geetanjali Kelkar Supplementation or popping multivitamin and mineral tablets has become common these days. However, it’s important to note that ‘supplement’ means ‘add on’ to what is missing in our daily diet. Vitamin and mineral intake beyond the recommended dietary allowance work like chemicals in the body. Excess are either thrown out of the body or might accumulate to cause toxicity or hypervitaminosis. Moreover, supplements are likely to inhibit absorption of other nutrients- like excess of calcium or iron will reduce absorption of zinc since all these minerals compete for the same site of absorption i.e. the upper part of duodenum.

Thus, it appears prudent for all to first evaluate their dietary intake and if there is a deficiency adopt supplementation. This will certainly help to prevent any deleterious effects on the human body.

04 August, 2010 | Kanika Jain | Reply

Kanika Jain Oxalate and phytate in vegetrarian diets prevent absorption and utilisation of calcium .It is really important for vegetarians to include enough of dairy products in their diet to meet their calcium requirement.

04 August, 2010 | Kanika Jain | Reply

Kanika Jain Calcuim supplements are one of the most commonly marketed supplements now a days. Even medical health care providers are prescribing without giving due consideration to dietary intake of patients. Easy availability of supplements over the counter is also making matter worse. In fact, one of popular calcium supplements is easily available in even departmental store! It is important for a layman to know that if diet is adequate in calcium sources then there is no need to take any supplement. One should always discuss his\her diet with doctor before taking supplements. And same goes for all supplements not just calcium. Balanced diet is best to provide our body nutrients we require. Do not just blindly take any supplement.
Kanika Jain

04 August, 2010 | Rajani | Reply

Rajani This means that we have to always maintain the intake close to 1000 mg for adults and that too through diet only. Can you please tell me how to assess the amount of calcium consumed in my diet. I generally take 2 cups of low fat milk and 2 cups of low fat curds a day. In a week I drink about 1-2 glass of milk shake and 2-3 times of green leafy vegs. I am a vegetarian and 30 years old.

03 August, 2010 | Ambika, | Reply

Ambika, So what happens to the elderly who have been on these med supplements for a while and one is scared to stop them for fear of osteoporosis.
Continue or not?

04 August, 2010 | Poonam Vaswani | Reply

Poonam Vaswani Hello Ms Ambika,
The decision should be based on the dietary intake of calcium rich foods. If a person is consuming plenty of calcium rich foods and is confident that the daily requirement is being met, there maybe no need for supplementation. Usually the elderly have a lower food intake so it maybe necessary to continue supplements. Also, if they have a heart condition, they must check on this with their physicians.

03 August, 2010 | Vijayalakshmi Iyengar | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Iyengar This definitely puts calcium supplementation in the dock. However vegetarians do have a problem as calcium from dairy products is the only biological source easily available. Calcium from plant sources (dal, ragi, greens etc) are tied up with oxalates and phytates and so the bio-availability is low. With poor eating habits and jet set life it seems rather a difficult proposition to get sufficient calcium. Not that I am actively supporting supplementation but my son did benefit a lot during his growing years and an active physical life. Despite a diet rich in Calcium he was advised Ca supplementation which took care of his leg cramps and helped his growth spurts.

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